Updated with morning market action.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Saying "the share price will rise relative to the industry over the next 60 days," Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck on Thursday urged investors to buy shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) ahead of the company's Analyst Day conference on Feb. 28.
Graseck called JPMorgan "the cheapest money center" bank, measured by price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, "when you factor in [return on equity]" and said the company was "best positioned for market share gains given its stronger credit rating, and it still has room to benefit from stronger credit as default servicing costs likely decline in 2012-13.JPMorgan's shares were down 1% in morning trading, to $37.81. The analyst's price target for JPMorgan Chase is $42.00. The shares closed at $38.07 on Wednesday, returning 15% year-to-date, following a 20% decline in 2011. JPMorgan's shares were trading for 1.2 times tangible book value according to HighlineFI, and for eight times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $4.66, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $5.44. Here's a quick rundown on the same data for the rest of the "big four" U.S. bank club:
- Shares of Bank of America (BAC) closed at $7.95 Wednesday, returning 43% year-to-date, following a 58% decline in 2011. The shares trade for just 0.7 times tangible book value, but at a relatively high multiple of 11 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 71 cents. That's the highest forward price-to-earnings ratio among the big four. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $1.20.
- Shares of Citigroup (C) closed at $32.36 Wednesday, returning 23% year-to-date, following last year's 44% decline. Like Bank of America, Citi trades for a low 0.7 times tangible book, but at a much lower multiple of eight times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $3.98. The consensus EPS estimate for 2013 is $4.76.
- Wells Fargo was up 11% year-to-date, through Wednesday's close at $30.59. The shares trade for 1.8 times tangible book value, reflecting the company's status as the best and most consistent earner among the big four, with returns on average assets ranging between 1.11% and 1.27% over the past five quarters, according to HighlineFI. The shares trade for 10 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $3.20. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $3.69.
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